Target-ing Hackers, No Love for the Coach and Warren Buffet’s Signature Bling

On target…

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/

Target (TGT) is about to target your charge cards. With technology that sounds like it was ripped straight from a sci-fi/spy thriller flick, Target will be swapping your soon-to-be-obsolete magnetic strip cards for chip-and-pin cards that are supposedly far more secure and hacker-proof. With an embedded microchip that generates a different code every time it’s used, counterfeiters just might go bust. We hope. Even if the card is hacked (theoretically speaking, of course), it still couldn’t be used again. Incidentally, these cards have been the standard in Europe and several other parts of the world for some time. The US is a little late to the secure charge card party. The cost for this nifty little innovation runs in the $100 million range but what they’ll save in false charges…priceless – especially after that embarrassing data breach during last year’s holiday shopping season. By October 15, retailers and banks that don’t employ this new technology will be the ones liable for any counterfeit transactions.

Coached out…

Image courtesy of Simon Howden/

Image courtesy of Simon Howden/

It seems Americans just aren’t feeling the love for Coach (COH) products anymore. The luxury retailer, famous for its leather and logo handbags and other assorted merchandise, took a nasty hit to its third quarter revenue over the same time last year. Experts in both fashion and finance suspect Coach’s stylish competitors, Kate Spade (KATE) and Michael Kors (KORS), have been taking a big chunk out of their sales. Coach took in $1.1 billion this quarter when this time last year it took in $1.19 billion. But outside the US, you’d never know Coach isn’t a fan fave. Overseas sales grew 14%, but China truly showed its affection for the brand with a 25% increase in sales there.

Bedazzling Buffet…

Image courtesy of Boykung/

Image courtesy of Boykung/

If you’re in the market for some bling, you might want to talk to the world’s second wealthiest person, Warren Buffet. He’s got some ice he wants to sell, provided you’re a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder who will be of the fortunate few to attend the annual shareholders meeting on May 3. These aren’t just any diamonds. These stones, from Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, have the Oracle of Omaha’s signature laser-etched into them, a souvenir of sorts that will range in size from .75 carat to five carats and could set you back anywhere from between $5000 and $200,000. After all, why buy jewelry from Tiffany & Co. when you can blow all that cash on jewelry that’s personalized…for Warren Buffet. But like I said, you still have to be a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder whose stock price closed at $192,545.00. Per share. No, that’s not a typo.


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